tv MSNBC Live MSNBC January 22, 2014 9:00am-10:01am PST
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chris christie begins his second term. one concern republican leaders have, though, how the controversy surrounding the christie administration are hurting the republican party. now a former ally says christie should step down as a head of the republican governor's association. >> i think just from the perspective of setting aside this as an issue in other races, it makes sense for him to step aside in that role. he does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman. that doesn't mean any of the parties otherwise, it doesn't matter. perception is reality. plus, the one-two punch. the snow is going sideways. thousands of flights cancelled. now the deep freeze is here. how long will it last? well, first off for you, when virginia elected bob mcdonnell governor in 2009, a star was born. he was tapped to deliver the state of the union response to president obama just 11 days into his administration. mcdonnell seemed to have a bright future ahead.
the future is more hazy today. friday, a federal judge will arraign mcdonnell and his wife on charges of abusing his office and accepting more than $140,000 in loans and gifts. now, if convicted, the former first couple of virginia could face a maximum of 30 years in prison. mcdonnell has apologized for accepting gifts from a virginia executive. johnny williams. but stresses he did nothing illegal. >> i repeat again emphatically that i did nothing illegal for mr. williams in exchange for what i believe was his personal friendship and his generosity. i never promised and mr. williams and his company never received any government benefit of any kind from me or from my administration. >> the 43-page indictment details a story of a first couple deep in debt as the financial crisis was in full swing in 2009. that is when they met johnny
williams, whose company sold a nutritional supplement that needed validation from the scientific community. now, in the 14 counts, prosecutors claim that in exchange for access to public health officials and promotion by the governor, the mcdonnells would get showered with a range of gifts from williams. now, those gifts included a rolex watch with an inscription reading "the 71st governor of virginia," access to a house and ferrari owned by williams, and a nearly $20,000 new york shopping spree through oscar de la renta, louis vuitton, and bergdorf goodman. the indictment says the couple tried to hide their relationship with williams. pete, thanks for joining us. what is the governor's defense at this moment? he doesn't really seem to be
denying that he accepted these gifts and loans. >> no, he doesn't. he says they were legal gifts that johnny williams was a personal friend, and that he's repaid them all. so the difference is how you view what the government says he did. he says he didn't do anything that other governors haven't done for businesses and contributors, which is to promote their products, speak at their seminars, host receptions at the governor's mansion. the government, the federal prosecutors say those are official acts that the governor urged state universities to look at supporting research on these products, urged the state health department to get involved in researching these products, and all of those are official acts. so one of the questions here is what's an official act? does it take, as the governor said, some kind of a grant from the state or a contract or an appointment to the state board, or is it, as the federal government sees it, use of the influence of the governor's office? >> now, mcdonnell also said this here, pete.
"nearly every elected official from president obama on down would have to be charged if they were to look at similar charges such as this." what is being made of that? >> well, that's the claim that his defense lawyers make. as a matter of fact, they've already in essence responded to these charges with a court filing. they say if the government's theory here is right, then when president obama goes to an event, say, like dreamworks in hollywood and appears at an event sponsored by a company or an individual that has given him a campaign contribution, then under the government's theory, that would be using the prestige of the president's office to support some kind of company. now, of course, it's not clear that dream works wanted anything from the government at that point. but in any event, that's what his lawyers say, is that if you take the justice department's theory here, it would ultimately extend to any time anybody cuts a ribbon with a campaign contributor. >> so when you've been looking into this, what is the test? what will they be looking at?
what will be -- whether he is guilty of this or not? >> the test will be which of these theories the jury accepts. what's the quid pro quo? is it enough to say the governor used the prestige of his office and then tried to cover it up, or do you have to show that the state gave the company something in return? some money, a loan, a grant. what does it take to establish corruption, is really the question here. it does seem that the federal government is -- this case is not the sort of four square kind of cases we've seen before, where a state official or a public official pockets money in exchange for a vote or some other kind of more sort of concrete official action. >> okay. nbc's pete williams filling that in for us. thank you so much for all the details there. joining us now, our power panel. thank you all for joining us
today. nia, starting with you, how surprising is this mcdonnell indictment? he was known to handle the press well. well-liked in many cases. unafraid of tough questions. almost welcoming, if you will, to those tough questions. also centrist on many issues, some people have said about him. how surprising is this? >> it is surprising. i mean, it's a stunning fall for a man who was in many ways short listed in 2012. someone who people thought might make a good vice presidential running mate for mitt romney. i covered that campaign. i remember going to some of those events and mcdonnell was very much front and center in romney's events in virginia. and here we have this 43-page indictment that in many ways is really sad. when you look at almost the mania that this family was going through in terms of their financial dire straights and asking johnny williams for money, for shopping sprees, for gifts. so it is very much a stunning fall and this tale of this family wrapped up in this
relationship, financial relationship with johnny williams. still unclear at this point whether or not the federal government has enough evidence, there's no real concrete evidence of a quid pro quo. looks like they are trying to prosecute this case under the hobbs act, which is a pretty old act. i think it was passed in 1946. just the personal and political down fall that we're seeing here is quite stunning. >> yeah, the hobbs act going back half a century or more there. chip, you know the scandal hits at a bad time for republicans in virginia, in that state specifically. obama won there in 2012, as you know. virginia very key to 2016. how does the gop pivot on this? >> well, richard, is there really any good time for a scandal to hit? i'm not sure there is. >> that's true. you're right about that. >> this is very sad, and as the republicans are kind of going into november's elections with
ed gillaspie announcing his senate race. so this is not easy for republicans to handle. it's a very sad case. as my grandmother would say, that fellow just didn't use the good sense that god gave him. >> is there a negative halo effect to other potential gop candidates as we look forward towards the nomination in 2016? >> you know, i think as you look past 2016, this is one person who made some really bad decisions. i don't think that has flash effect past 2014 in virginia, and it certainly i don't think has any effect on the 2016 campaigns. republicans and democrats both have had some candidates who made some really bad decision. it really does hurt the area that's affected, but it doesn't really play into '16 as well. >> and listen to your mom is what you're saying, right? >> listen to your mother. >> even got the finger shaking. okay, chip, thanks for that. chris, let's get to you.
let me ask what i asked pete williams. how is obama taking money from executives whose interests he helps to promote different from what mcdonnell did, according to the indictment? >> i think the difference is the quid pro quo of taking personal money. this is not like campaign contribution where is you're doing events that both parties do. legal under the campaign finance laws. if i'm a governor, this is someone giving me $100,000 -- or taking my wife on a shopping spree so then i can return that with either access or favors. so it may seem to some as this is kind of a gray area. but it really kind of crosses the line. whether it's illegal, we're all just going to have to wait to see what the courts decide. but at the end of the day, the perception of it is pretty horrific. not just for the former governor, but it kind of adds to this bad narrative right now that's been building facing the
republican party. particularly with christie's woes. and that, i think, becomes a head ache for the republican party. at a minimum, it's a distraction. at a minimum. and at worst, it reinforces this narrative that the republican party is kind of astray and out of control. >> okay, thanks so much. nia, chris and chip. stand by, though. we want to get your thoughts after the break on the latest chris christie news. so stick around for just a bit. now to the weather. the snow has stopped nearly everywhere, but the hazardous conditions, those remain. after a record-breaking winter storm wreaked havoc on the northeast, millions awoke this morning to a treacherous commute to work. new jersey, where governor chris christie cancelled his inaugural party on ellis island last night due to the weather there. that was hit with as much as 15-plus inches there overnight. the washington, d.c. area with federal offices closed yesterday in preparation for the storm got as much as ten inches. philadelphia reported slightly
more than a foot of snow, which is the third time this year they've had more than six inches before february 1st, something that hasn't happened since records were being kept first in 1884. and right here in new york city, we saw almost a foot of snow in certain sections. yet another weather-related challenge for the newly elected mayor. while the snow is stopped nearly everywhere, the conditions are still pretty treacherous out there. ron mott is on long island with more. you've been there for two, three days watching this for us. ron, what you got? >> reporter: the story today is the biting cold. it's very cold out here. it's about ten degrees right now on long island, with the windchill below zero. we're going to struggle to get that windchill up into the positive territory today. this is not just a problem for today. we'll see this into the weekend, so folks will be concerned going into saturday or so. we've got good black top back here. the problem was, again, the snow, it was so dry, which was great because it's cold. but it makes it easy to push
around. the problem is now we've got to deal with icing on some of these road surfaces. a lot of folks were complaining about how long it took them to get home. 45, 50-minute commutes normally were taking three and four hours. here's what happened. a lot of folks heeded the warning saying get out of work if you can a little early. the snow came sooner than expected and then all that traffic suddenly was on the highways. the snowplows got stuck in traffic with the folks and it was a real mess. this morning's commute, a little bit better. we haven't heard a whole lot of grumbling about that. the people grumbling today are the young people. the kids are in classes for a lot of these school districts. new york city holding classes today. they thought their weather would hold up and the streets would be in good enough shape to get those kids to school, so they are in class today. a lot of schools out here in long island had delayed starts to the day. so all in all, a pretty good day. pretty good cleanup. but it's going to be cold the next couple of days, richard. >> all right, ron. thanks a lot. nbc's ron mott there for us on long island. appreciate it. it's the first full day of the second term, but with scandal swirling around his
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on the same day new jersey's governor officially kicked off his second term, chris christie also took a shot from fellow republican ken cuccinelli. cuccinelli questioned christie's continuing role as the chairman of the republican governors association. >> i think just from the perspective of setting aside this as an issue in other races, it makes sense for him to step aside in that role. he does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman. that doesn't mean any of the charges, political or otherwise, are substantive or not. it doesn't matter. perception is reality. >> congressman frank pallone is a democrat who represents new
jersey in the house of representatives. thanks for being here, congressman. >> thank you, richard. >> as you well know here, ken cuccinelli was a gop gubernatorial candidate in virginia, who last year, during last year's election, he lost while christie did win. what do you think of his call for christie to step down? >> i don't usually prod into republican politics, but i do think he has a point. christie was just inaugurated as the governor. he's got a lot to do as governor of the state and i've been critical that he hasn't done enough as governor of the state. so i think cuccinelli is making the point. how is he going to be the head of the republican governors association while he has all these scandals out there that need to be investigated? >> are you effectively saying how can he govern the state of new jersey? >> i think it's going to be hard for him to continue governing the state as well. but look, he should concentrate on that. and it's also important that he come clean and that he basically cooperate with these
investigations. one of the investigations that i talked about, and i've been really spearheading is with regard to the tv commercials for the storm, for sandy. and we haven't really been getting all the information. i mean, a lot of the documents that are requested or redacted, they still haven't come through. so i think it's important for them to cooperate with these investigations and concentrate on being governor. >> speaking of which, that joint committee, when we take a look at the joint legislature in new jersey, they're going to be working together. we got that announcement yesterday. it's going to have 12 members in it. it's going to have eight democrats and four republicans, and this is what was said by one of those watching this. "but to be truly bipartisan, it should have a more equitable member mix." when you look at that criticism there, does he have a point? >> no. i mean, typically committees are majority/minority. that's true in the house of
representatives, in the u.s. senate. the majority party usually gets more members than the minority party. >> but as going through the investigation and looking at that which they may want to subpoena, might it be more biased towards the democrats? >> i think that in this case, because it's an investigation, people are going to put politics aside to some extent. and i don't think you can expect a legislative committee to not have representation based on the legislature itself. >> would you rather be balanced, though? >> no, i don't think so. i think they're doing the right thing. i don't know of other instances where legislative committees do other than have representation based on who's in the majority and minority. i mean, they do have republicans, they just aren't going to be as many because they're in the minority. >> as you know here, the transportation infrastructure is controlled by an agency called the port authority. there are a lot of complaints
about cronyism and high tolls. this is one of the headlines there. should an inquiry into chris christie's possible role in this scandal, the bridgegate scandal, also include here the port authority and might it? >> i think it will. i mean, this joint committee now has issued -- >> in the way it functions, is what i mean to say. in its history according to the daily beast here. >> look, there's no question that these allegations with regard to bridgegate and what's happened so far in terms of the e-mails shows that there's a lot of politics involved and incorrect decisions being made. so i don't think there's any reason why they shouldn't look into how the port authority operates, because in fact, it may very well be that there is too much politics based on what we're seeing. >> right now, as we look at what might be on the agenda for this joint committee, one of the items that's not is the claim of the hoboken mayor, that the sandy relief funds were withheld from that city because of political reasons. do you think it should be
considered by this joint committee? >> i think they will. i mean, they may start out looking at the george washington bridge, but i'm sure they'll then get into what happened in hoboken with the trading of development for sandy money. i think they'll probably look even beyond that. one of my biggest concerns, richard, is this whole abuse, if you will, of sandy money. we work very hard and i still have a lot of constituents that have not gotten their check to rebuild their home or their business. so whether it's the tv ads or it's what the mayor of hoboken is alleging, that she was saying you're not going to get your sandy money unless you approve this development, i think that has to be looked into and i'm sure they will. >> congressman frank pallone of new jersey. thank you so much. i know you're heading back to d.c. next week. appreciate you stopping by. >> thank you, richard. our power panel is back for more. thanks for sticking around. nia, can christie lead the rga
effectively? if not, who might its be? cuccinelli is saying no, this is not the right guy now. >> well, some context for cuccinelli. here was a guy who wanted chris christie to come down to virginia and campaign for him as he was running for governor, but chris christie said no, he wanted more money from the rga, too. i believe he didn't get it. so he very much sounds like a man who doesn't have much of a future in the republican party. talked to some folks in new hampshire and south carolina, there are concerns about chris christie, concerns about where this could go. so far, so good. a lot of people are saying. but if anything else comes out, i do think people have issues with it. here's a guy who is head of rga, has to raise something like $100 million, and ideally would be going to these states where there are tough governors races and stumping for some of these candidates. so he is bringing baggage from new jersey that could certainly pose a problem for republicans. >> chris, can governor christie get a fair shake given the balance of the joint committee
if leaning more towards democrats? >> i mean, i think you can get a fair shake. one, let's be honest, the national spotlight on not the committee's work, but what they end up finding is going to be pretty enormous. i don't think they have a vested interest in trying to either manufacture things. seems like every day there seems to be more kind of either allegations, so my guess is they're going to dig deep and dig hard. the problem for governor christie to the point about what ken cuccinelli made, putting aside the fact that if you have friends like that, you really don't need enemies. the reality is he's going around trying to basically help governors in a lot of key states that they need to win in order to be competitive in '16. he's going to be an enormous distraction, so it's probably good advice. it's not going to happen. he's not going to step down. but it's going to be a major problem for the rga going forward, if this scandal doesn't get resolved quickly and i don't think it will. >> chip, what's happening behind
the doors there, when you've got cuccinelli saying that chris christie is not the guy to be leading the rga. and it's been said in the past, chris christie, who has been a go it alone guy, not liked by democrats, not liked by some republicans as well. does that continue here? >> it's tough to be a caucus of one sometimes. governor christie has shown himself to be a caucus of one, as he's done a good job of leading the state of new jersey. he was re-elected by a huge number. that's mostly in part because he did a good job as governor. i think most of the donors that i've talked to over the last three weeks since this broke is a little bit of a wait and see attitude. >> how long? >> i think as you kind of go through as you're raising money, are they hitting their goals? are they raising money in these states? what's going on in new jersey? because right now, we tend to believe -- i tend to believe, i know governor christie is telling the truth. he did not know. he's taking this problem head-on and doing a very effective job in taking something that was a
big problem and said i found out about it, i fired some of my best friends and senior staff, i'm fully cooperating with the committee. we're going to get to the bottom of this. i think that's what americans want to see in their leadership. we know that there's problems in government, but people say my responsibility and i'll fix it. >> what do you know, and when did he know it. the questions we will be waiting to be answered. thank you so much for all of your perspectives today. still ahead, 41 years afro v. wade, -- after roe v. wade, we take a look at other news including edward snowden speaking out against allegations that he cooperated with russian intelligence to leak classified nsa documents. who gets the allstate safe driving bonus check. rock beats scissors! [ chuckles ] wife beats rock. and with two checks a year, everyone wins. [ female announcer ] switch today and get two safe driving bonus checks a year for driving safely. only from allstate. call 866-906-8500 now. [ dennis ] zach really loves his new camera. problem is...this isn't zach.
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that came around to the front of my body. and the pain from it was- it was excruciating. i did not want anyone to brush into me to cause me more pain than i was already enduring. i wanted to just crawl up in a ball and just, just wait till it passed. [ female announcer ] no matter the occasion..., your home's the place everyone gathers. so be ready with a stouffer's lasagna. it's the mouthwatering recipe that keeps them coming back. stouffer's. made with care for your family. a few other headlines we're watching this hour. the widow of a man who was shot dead in a florida movie theater over texting is describing her grief as unbearable. >> me and my husband didn't get
a date night very often, much less a whole day to spend together, so i was just so excited and looking forward to spending the day with the love of my life at a place of entertainment, family entertainment. and just to think that in the blink of an eye, my whole world just got shattered into a million pieces. >> 71-year-old curtis reeves, a retired ctampa police captain i charged with second-degree murder. he gunned down olson after the two began arguing over olson sending text messages during the previews. the white house is taking action to combat sexual assault on college campuses. president obama is expected to announce a task force that will have 90 days to make recommends. it is estimated that one in five women are the victims of a sexual assault in college and only 12% of those assaults are actually reported. this was the scene this morning in northern mississippi. look at that. after an apparent explosion at a biodiesel facility, workers were
at the facility in new albany at the time. fortunately, there are no reported injuries. former nsa contractor edward snowden denying allegations that he was operating as a russian spy when he fled the u.s. with classified documents. snowden tells "the new yorker," "he clearly and unambiguously acted alone with no assistance from anyone, much less a government." coming up, russian security hunt for two newly identified black widows, reports of direct threats to several olympic delegations. we take a look at russia's state of terror, exposing what some see here as gaping holes in security. plus, digging out. another check on the snowstorm that dumped record amounts of snow all across the northeast. [ male announcer ] if you can clear a crowd but not your nasal congestion, you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec-d®. powerful relief of nasal congestion and other allergy symptoms -- all in one pill. zyrtec-d®. at the pharmacy counter.
which 4g lte map has the most coverage? this isn't real difficult... pretty obvious to me. i'm going to have to say verizon. verizon. that's right! the choice is obvious. verizon's superfast 4g lte network is over three times larger than any other 4g lte network. now get one, two, or even three-hundred dollars off a new smartphone depending on the smartphone you trade in on america's largest, most reliable 4g lte network. that's powerful. verizon. now get a free lg g2, with a 13-megapixel camera. russian president vladimir putin promised that the sochi winter games would be the safest and most secure olympics ever. that's why he spent $2 billion
to create a so-called ring of steel around the black sea resort town. it spans some 60 miles in length and 25 miles in depth. with 1,500 miles of fencing. in spite of all of that, however, russia may now be forced to ask the united states for help with security. evan coleman is an nbc news terrorism analyst. a lot of moving parts here. you're so used to looking at these sorts of situations around the world. what's the latest? you have some reports of a certain element being found, right? >> yeah, there's been a report this morning that a group in dagestan that's connected with the individuals that bombed these buses and trolleys in volgograd, that they may have acquired up to a ton of ammonium nitrate and they're threatening to use it and laughing about how they acquired it and laughing about how russian security forces failed to reacquire this or take it back from them. >> what would you use this to make? >> ammonium nitrate the used to
build high explosives, to build a very, very powerful explosive. unfortunately, it's a very serious concern. >> where has it been used before and what sorts and size of explosion might be able to obtain? >> i believe actually the oklahoma city bombing was an ammonium nitrate bomb. i think that gives you an idea how powerful an explosion like that can be. it requires some sophistication to build a device like that. but if they have a ton of it, that's quite worrying, yes, especially given the proximity. the geographic proximity to sochi, and these are the same individuals threatening to carry out some attack in sochi. >> another piece of information that came out within the last 24 hours, the president of the united states talking to the president of russia. also that the top general there in russia speaking with the joint chief of staff here in the united states, possibly involving the help of the united states with some technology to assist them there on the ground in sochi. now, if this were to happen, would they first of all ask,
number one. number two, would they accept the assistance from the united states? >> i think the russians have been much more eager to take in kind of material assistance. if we can provide them devices that can help detect improvised explosives. if we can provide them devices to help scan people coming into venues. those are gifts that they're very happy to take because it doesn't actually provide any information back to us. >> but why now? it's been six, seven years or something. >> i think the realization is that the russians recognize that this is a much bigger problem and endeavor than they initially thought. i think given the fact that you've seen these wanted posters pop up for would-be suicide bombers and whatnot, i think the russians are realizing that they need to take the help if it's there, but i don't think that extends to actually cooperating aggressively with u.s. law enforcement or the intelligence community or the military. i don't think you're going to see that. but i definitely think the russians are very eager for any kind of material assistance we can provide them in terms of equipment that we've developed in places like iraq and afghanistan, even here in the u.s. in order to counter these
very specific threats from al qaeda. >> so, this idea of lone wolves, and we'll go further into that. how well equipped is russia to handle lone wolf terrorists, compared to the united states is equipped? >> well, not well. just this week, the russians were hunting down a woman that they thought was a suicide bomber, only to find out they had killed her already several weeks ago. their justice system, their law enforcement system is not quite as regimented as ours. >> halfway there? >> i don't know if you'd want to make that kind of assertion. they've cracked down, but they seem to be more in terms of acting sort of protecting government targets. they're not really able to protect the government at large. if you look at russian history in the last couple decades, you've seen suicide bombings on aircraft. bombings of russian trains. of power stations. and the russians don't seem to be able to get a firm handle in terms of stopping it.
>> the black widows that you're alluding to. we started with the week -- i believe the number was four, according to russian security forces. there we have them there. one of them is now believed to have been killed, as you were mentioning there. so we've got at least all said about five. how many might there be out there, given what we already know? >> these are individuals that the russians can't find. they think one lady might have gotten to sochi, but these are not the only people the russians are looking for. these are not the only culprits. and not to mention, it's not just the islamic emirates caucuses. it's not just chechens and dagestanis. so there's a lot of different threats here. >> i want to ask you this. the ages of the suspects, 20s. this is a new generation. they may not be on the radar for russian security officials. how difficult might that make it
as they're out there looking for these suspects, because they don't know who they are? >> part of the challenge is identifying people who are fresh faces. the only collection is that their relatives or the wife of somebody else who was involved in this. and look, in russia traditionally there has been a de-emphasis on herding women or going after women. this is changing now, when they're realizing that women are being specifically recruited to carry out these kind of missions. >> always a pleasure to have you here to get your expertise on this. thank you very much. as northeastern cities continue their efforts to clear the roads after last night's crushing winter storm, brutally cold temperatures still expected. the high in chicago, for instance, expected to be a whole ten degrees tomorrow. and possibly down to below zero by friday. meanwhile, new york city prepares for its coldest weather of the year by the end of the week, with the temperature expected to drop below five degrees. let's hope it warms up below super bowl sunday. but up in plymouth, massachusetts, boy, the snow continued this morning. the weather channel's mike
seidel was there in plymouth with more for us. >> reporter: hi, richard. it is still snowing and blowing out here in plymouth. out here on the south shore, the snow continues to add up. meanwhile, you get back towards boston and it's ended. logan airport had a little over four inches, but you get down away from logan down here into plymouth, parts of plymouth county, as much as 18 inches of snow. we've had wind gusts here across the cape and on the island, over 40 miles an hour. behind me, we can now see the buildings. a couple of hours ago, it was snowing so hard we couldn't even see those. visibility was down to about 250 yards. but as the snowfall rate has backed off, what we noticed a lot of right now, which isn't surprising, is the plowing and digging out of this area from all this snowfall. temperatures are also falling down, we're down to 11 degrees, and the windchill here is seven below zero. and you talk about a dry, powdery snow. we've seen a lot of this this month, because these snowstorms are coming in with these bitter
cold arctic air masses, so it blows and drifts around. you come over here, we've been showing this all morning and you get a sense of how deep the snow drifts. look at this. all the way up, just about to my waist. so this is the kind of work you're dealing with out on the highways with the blowing and all these big drifts out there in the open areas. over nearby logan airport, they've cancelled 130 departures today, richard. that's 30% of the schedule. but the number has not increased to the morning hours. that's a good sign. but system-wide, about 1,500 flights cancelled. a lot of those, a huge proportion of those, boston, philadelphia, and the three new york city airports. bitter cold air. as we told you, tomorrow morning in boston, we're forecasting low down around two. that's 20 degrees below average. but off the record low for the day of six below. the cold weather continues in the northeast. as more snow may move in in the next couple of days. richard, back to you.
>> all you need is more snow there. thank you so much for that report. let's head to our nation's capital where kate parker is there for us. a little bit different for you there, my friend. >> reporter: it is very cold here. it was 1,073 days. that's how many days d.c. went without two inches or more snow. but that drought is over. we saw three and a half inches officially at reagan national. we had eight and a half inches at dulles. both of those were breaking records. records broken for snowfall. currently the windchill is about negative four. the air temperature about 12 degrees here. but folks are out and about. they had about a two-hour delay for government offices. d.c. schools are out today. some other area schools are out. some are in session. the roads are pretty good, though. they're not looking too bad here in the city. some residential streets a little bit more snow-packed. the good news is that ice is not too much of an issue here. it's just a light, fluffy snow. even folks out last night to have a big snowball fight.
i think folks are actually enjoying a bit of the cold. the bad news is that it may stick around for a while. this arctic blast is going to just keep oncoming with this cold air just moving on in, richard. >> all right, kate parker there, right in front of the nation's capitol, as we are digging out from that big storm that's come through the northeast. thank you so much. want to get to some breaking news we're watching here on msnbc. just getting this in from kfor. what we understand is from the campus police at the university of oklahoma, telling nbc news there are reports of a possible shooting. and information we get from the police there is that they are working with ou police on shots fired at the campus. authorities saying the call went out just after 11:00 a.m. students received a text message saying ou emergency shooting on campus. avoid gold hall. seek immediate shelter in place. that was the warning that came
over via text message, gould hall located in the south. we'll continue to watch this breaking story coming out of the university of oklahoma and a possible shooting there. stay with us right here on msnbc. we'll have more after the break. what? trick number one. look-est over there. ha ha. made-est thou look. so end-eth the trick. hey.... yes.... geico. fifteen minutes could save you... well, you know.
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i took medicine but i still have symptoms. [ sneeze ] [ male announcer ] truth is not all flu products treat all your symptoms. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus severe cold and flu speeds relief to these eight symptoms. [ breath of relief ] thanks. [ male announcer ] you're welcome. ready? go. snowfall and breaking news for you coming out of the university of oklahoma. campus police telling nbc news there are reports of a possible shooting, but there's also the tweet that came from the university of oklahoma's account that does read, "shooting on campus." the norman police confirming that they are working with ou police on a shots fired call at the campus. authorities saying the call went out just after 11:00 a.m. local time there. students receiving a text message as well saying "ou emergency shooting on campus, avoid gould hall, seek immediate
shelter in place." at this time, not aware of any injuries. of course, this just reaching our desks here at msnbc. we'll continue to follow that story coming out of the university of oklahoma for you. 41 years ago today, a supreme court ruling recognized a woman's constitutional right to an abortion. in that case, roe v. wade has become among the most famous and divisive among the high court's history. the statement, "as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the supreme court decision in roe v. wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision's guiding principle, that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health." 40-plus years after that decision, the issue is still surrounded on both sides by a great deal of passion. some of that passion is on display this afternoon, as anti-abortion marchers brave the cold to gather in washington, d.c. for the annual march for life rally in opposition to the
roe v. wade decision. for more on the anniversary of this landmark case, i'm joined by terry o'neill, president of the national organization for women. terry, thanks for being here with us. as we mark this 41st anniversary, how would you describe this last year? >> you know, i think what's really striking about the past year is a growing disconnect between what voters want in terms of women's health policy and what legislators, particularly legislators in states around the country. but also what courts are doing. so the voters on the one hand support for women's abortion rights, and women's access to the full range of reproductive health services is actually growing right now, for the past two to three years it's been growing. and yet the attacks on women's access to abortion care, to birth control, to women's health clinics where they can get std treatments, those attacks have escalated by elected officials. so there's this huge divide.
>> so you've also got the divide reflecting more restrictive laws, and we're seeing that on the local and state level. texas, north carolina, those are a couple of examples here where you've seen some more restrictive laws being enacted. why the separation, why more restrictive, and how do you turn that around? you were talking about voters versus the legislatures. >> you know, a part of it is the way we do voting. ever since the supreme court opened the floodgates for corporate funding of elections, what we have seen is tea party extremists flooding into state legislatures, and even into the united states congress, particularly the u.s. house of representatives where tea party extremists hold sway on most policies. so i think money and politics is a huge problem. >> the supreme court declined to hear an appeal and overturned arizona law. that basically said it would band most abortions after 20
weeks. a small victory perhaps, or a big viblgt ctory. do you think this is a turn in the tide for those who support abortion rights? >> i'm very concerned about where the supreme court is heading. yes, it's a small, perhaps temporary victory. there are nearly a dozen states that have outright criminalized abortion at 20 weeks gestation. actually, arkansas went the most extreme and criminalized abortion at six weeks gestation. so six, 12, 18, 20 weeks. these criminalizations are directly in contradiction of roe v. wade. the laws have been challenged by those who want to challenge roe v. wade and have it overturned in the supreme court. but look at what the supreme court is doing this term. it is actually considering taking away a 35-foot buffer intended to protect abortion providers, health care providers and their patients from the kinds of assault, battery, even
murder that have been happening before these kinds of buffer zones were put into place. so what's going on at the supreme court level is very troubling. at the same legislative level, you know, it's very interesting. you've got these 20-week bans, which are clearly unconstitutional. >> terry -- thank you so much. i'm sorry, we've got to get to breaking news. terry o'neill in the 41st anniversary of roe v. wade. we're going to kfor reporting live. >> they were sitting in class and they looked out, they saw a car show up. about six minutes after that, they were evacuated from the building, told to walk down further south. so they did not hear any gunshots, but police are taking this very seriously right now. >> appreciate you talking with us. stay with us. we understand that you're a journalism student there at ou. i'm sure that this has folks there really rattled. kind of give me an idea of where you are and how many people are around you with your area. people were told to seek shelter where they were, if you were
shelter in place. is that pretty much what everyone was doing? kind of give me an idea about the atmosphere there. >> i am actually -- i'm one of the students who was actually very close to gould hall right now. i am a journalism student. students in the building south of there actually locked in bathrooms. everyone is locked down. looking from a distance. no one very close. police haven't started talking on gould hall yet, but there are no students anywhere near gould hall. i'm the closest, i'm probably about 300, 400, 500 feet away from it. so just a couple students here and there, but for the most part, most students are either locked in the building. >> always a precaution that they'll send multiple emergency personnel type of vehicles. are there balances on the scene just in case? i know there will be multiple
police presence there, because of norman police is helping out campus police with this. but i want to get parents -- i want to ease their concerns as much as we can in a situation like this. you haven't seen anybody brought in or out of gould hall as far as any type of a victim of any type. >> i haven't not. police entered only about 30 minutes ago. i have not seen them bring anyone out. currently, a fire truck just currently arrived on the scene for the first time about ten minutes ago. i'm kucurrently standing by 12 police cars. like i said, i have not seen any sort of victim walk out with police from gould hall yet. >> okay, listening to kfor affiliate. a journalism student reporting to kfor on what he is seeing there on the university of oklahoma campus.
again, a possible shooting according to what the university of oklahoma campus police are telling nbc news. however, their twitter account, ou's twitter account does read shooting on campus. we are unaware of any injuries that we are able to confirm at this moment. authorities saying that the call went out just after 11:00 a.m. there at the university of oklahoma campus. and again, norman police there, the local police department confirming they are working with ou police on a shots fired call at the campus and they are asking students to seek shelter in place. so we'll continue to follow the breaking news coming out of the university of oklahoma right here on msnbc. that wraps it up for me. i'm richard lui. up next, andrea mitchell reports. stick around. ped by the house? uh-huh. yea. alright, whenever you get your stuff, run upstairs, get cleaned up for dinner. you leave the house in good shape? yea. yea, of course. ♪ [ sportscaster talking on tv ] last-second field go-- yea, sure ya did. [ male announcer ] introducing at&t digital life.
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reports," baby it's cold outside. in a one-two punch, millions along the east coast are digging out overnight from a major snowstorm. and they're now being hit with an arctic blast. how long will this last? we'll have the latest forecast. the virginia way. governor bob mcdonnell and his wife have been indicted on federal corruption charges over gifts from a supporter. can the once rising star in the republican party beat this rap? >> i did nothing illegal for mr. williams in exchange for what i believe was his personal friendship and his generosity. syrian peace talks get ugly fast when the u.n. secretary-general became entangled in a heated exchange with assad's foreign minister. >> i have the right to give the syrian version here in this forum. >> yes,